With a record-breaking number of breaches at an increase of 68% YoY in 2021, chances are high that hackers may try to breach your system. And on average, it took 287 days to identify a data breach in 2021.
The cost of data breaches directly correlates with the length of time it takes to identify the breach and react. Having a plan of action during the event of a breach is key, and there are several best practices that will help mitigate damage during a worst-case scenario.
Step 1: Review Cyber Risks and Potential Vulnerabilities
The phrase “you’re only as strong as your weakest link” rings especially true when developing a data breach response plan. Before you begin formulating your procedures, organizations should perform a cybersecurity risk assessment to audit and identify the various information assets that could be affected by a cyber-attack and potential liabilities.
By performing this step first, your security team can quickly pinpoint and address any immediate risks and triage lesser vulnerabilities before moving to the next step.
Step 2. Define Your Organization’s Reporting Requirements
When your company falls victim to a data breach, it’s your responsibility to report it. The requirements vary depending on jurisdiction, industry and the number of records affected. During this step, dedicate your resources to researching the required conditions. Once you know the proper reporting procedures, you’ll be able to relay the critical information to authorities and those affected.
Step 3: Establish a Rapid Response Team
Time is of the essence when it comes to mitigating the damage of a data breach. Establishing a cross-functional response team where the roles are clearly defined can expedite the defense process. While a quick reaction can help reduce the impact of a breach, a strong response team will also be able to formulate and execute a plan of action to identify the source of the breach, decide the reportability and record the rationale behind the decision.
If an organization has taken the proper measures during a data breach, it may reduce the likelihood of significant fines and impact on the business. Without clear direction or a team that understands the proper measures to take during a data breach, it can lead to disorganization and a delayed response — a mistake that has cost top companies nearly $1.3 billion.
Step 4. Stay Prepared
Since you can never predict when a data breach might occur, it’s essential to remain vigilant and updated on the latest policies and procedures. Teams should regularly review the data breach response plan and identify areas where they can make real-time and long-term improvements.
Although no amount of planning or preparation will guarantee 100% protection from a data breach, having a battle-tested plan in place is vital to intervene in any scenario.
Take the First Steps Toward Securing Your Data
Bluefin specializes in PCI-validated point-to-point encryption (P2PE) and tokenization solutions to protect your data in the event of a breach. These two security measures work in tandem to secure sensitive data, including payment information, Personally Identifiable Information (PII), Protected Health Information (PHI) and ACH account data. Our solutions provide organizations in retail, healthcare, higher education, government, nonprofit and more with flexible options to devalue all data upon intake, in transit and in storage.